When does Google delete data in inactive accounts?

google logo in a trash can

If you have an account with Google cloud services, such as Photos, Drive, or Gmail, your content may be deleted. Inactive accounts are cleared after a specified time.

Google’s storage policy is to clean up inactive accounts to improve the experience for everyone else. In other words, Google doesn’t want people who don’t use its services hide things from people who are.

RELATED: Google will delete your photos and documents if you are not active enough

The good news is that the cut-off time for inactive accounts is quite generous. So you don’t have to worry if you don’t log in every day or even every month.

What counts for my Google storage?

Before we get into the timelines, you need to know what actually counts towards your allocated storage space. As always, Google Drive, Google Photos and Gmail count.

However, from 1 June 2021, the following will also count:

  • Uploaded new photos or videos to Google Photos (including high-quality ones).
  • New documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms or Jamboard files.

However, anything uploaded to these services before June 1, 2021 does not count; only files modified after that date will.

How long will it take for my data to be deleted?

Starting June 1, 2021, Google will also implement a number of new policies for deleting data from inactive accounts. Google can delete data in the following circumstances:

  • If your account has been inactive for two years.
  • If you exceed your storage limit for two years.

The two-year countdown starts on June 1, 2021. So if you are inactive, 2023 is the earliest anything to be deleted. Google also sends you multiple warnings before removing anything.

How do I keep my Google account active?

You may be wondering what to do to prevent your account from becoming ‘inactive’. Well, it is simple. Just go to Gmail, Google Drive, or Google Photos while signed into your Google account on the web or mobile. That is it! You don’t actually need to do anything in the services.

Overall, though, this isn’t something anyone who even occasionally uses Google services should be concerned about. This policy is for people who have left their Google accounts completely.